The Angel of the Lord declared unto Mary...

And she conceived of the Holy Spirit.
Hail Mary...

Behold the handmaid of the Lord.
Be it done unto me according to Thy Word.
Hail Mary...

And the Word was made Flesh.
And dwelt among us.
Hail Mary...

Pray for us, O holy Mother of God.
That we may be made worthy of the promises of Christ.

Let Us Pray
Pour forth, we beseech Thee, O Lord, Thy grace into our hearts, that we to whom the Incarnation of Christ Thy Son was made known by the message of an angel, may by His Passion and Cross be brought to the glory of His Resurrection. Through the same Christ Our Lord. Amen.

Happy Feast of the Annunciation!

A House Divided...

Here is another inspiring sermon, all about the need for unity in our Church, which was recently given by our Archbishop during the 2015 Gregorian Chant conference on March 7, 2015 at the Brigittine Monastery in Amity, Oregon.  

Note: You can view the rest of the photos from this Mass here. The video and photographs were taken and edited by our friend Marc Salvatore and posted with permission. Thank you Marc!

In other news, the Cathedral Parish of the Diocese of Santa Rosa in California is currently raising money for a sanctuary renovation. It looks like it is going to be beautiful! You can find all the details here along with a link to their Go-Fund Me page.

Bargain Priced Toys :: LEGO Great Vehicles

Hello! Wow, has it really been two weeks?!

I didn't intend to take a break from blogging here at Shower of Roses, but between hosting the giveaways (thank you all for participating and congratulations to all 30 winners!), a special diet I've been on for the last three weeks (I'll share the details later), friends visiting from the Midwest (a family of 7, including one of my Godsons!), three months worth of "Quiet Moments" due for the summer edition of Catholic Digest, and then coming down with a cold/flu which has knocked me off my feet, I just haven't had the time or energy… I've missed blogging and really hope that I can start fitting it back in again soon!

In the meantime, just in case I didn't share enough Easter Basket Stuffer Ideas in my last post, I wanted to pop in real quick to let you all know that once again Amazon has some great discounts on LEGO sets!

Last year we gave each of our boys a small LEGO set in their baskets. They didn't see them at first, but got so excited when they realized that the bottom of their baskets were filled with LEGO bricks and the directions to build a set. I had taken them all out of the boxes and used them as filler. :)

Photo taken last November of the boys' LEGO town

Our boys all really love the Great Vehicles in the City collection and right now many of them are 20% off which drops the price to just $15.99 each. These are also great to have on hand to give as birthday party gifts for friends! Here are the links to some of the sets that are currently on sale:

LEGO City Great Vehicles Camper Van

LEGO City Great Vehicles Dune Buggy Trailer

LEGO City Great Vehicles Pickup Tow Truck

LEGO City Great Vehicles Snowplow Truck

LEGO City Great Vehicles Racing Bike Transporter

LEGO City Fire Truck

The following sets are priced a little higher but are also currently 20% off:

LEGO City Great Vehicles 4x4 with Powerboat (pictured above)

LEGO City Great Vehicles Auto Transporter

LEGO Creator Vehicle Transporter

LEGO City Service Truck (pictured below)

My boys also really love the Creator sets and the Mountain Hut (definitely a favorite!) is currently 25% off:  Lego Creator Mountain Hut

The boys all think the new Service Truck is awesome and purchased it with their savings. Apparently they needed a porta potty for their city…  Oh! And that old photo of the Bull Rider is the background? That's my husband. :) 

Note: Amazon's prices change frequently and I'm not sure how long this sale will last... As usual all links to Amazon are affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a percentage. Thank you! 

100+ Easter Basket Stuffers & Catholic Gift Ideas {plus a Basketful of Giveaways!}

A number of years ago I shared a post with a variety of Catholic Easter Basket Ideas to help incorporate our beautiful Catholic faith and the true meaning of Easter. The following updated list contains over 100 Easter Basket Stuffers & Catholic Gift Ideas! Most of the following items have been given to our own children in the past, with some new additions for this year. Be sure to scroll all the way to the bottom of this post to enter the giveaway for a chance to win one of 20 prizes from my generous sponsors with a combined value of over $500!

Note:  All links to Amazon and Holy Heroes are affiliate links. If you choose to click any of the links, then add an item (any item!) to your cart and complete the purchase, I will receive a percentage. We are so thankful for this additional source of income. Thank you!

.: Easter Picture Books :.

.: Patron Saints :.

  1. Hand Painted Wooden Saints from Catholic Folk Toys (Custom orders welcome! My little "Rose" will be finding the soon to be canonized Martin's along with their daughter St. Therese in her Easter basket this year, which I custom ordered from Tammy last fall.) 
  2. Saint Blessing Blocks from Almond Rod Toys 
  3. Shining Light Dolls 
  4. Saint Charms from Tiny Saints
  5. Saints 'N Stitches Embroidery Kits from Waltzing Matilda Makes… (limited time only!) 
  6. Prayer Pillowcases (Our youngest will receive the Good Shepherd:Our Father Pillowcase in his Easter Basket this year.) 
  7. Embroidered Soft Saint Dolls
  8. Alphabet of Saints Block Set (DIY Craft Idea found in the archives here at Shower of Roses) 
  9. Saint Habits for Dolls from The Little Habit

My girls fell in love with the darling gifts they received this past Christmas made by The Little Habit!  They will each receive one more habit for their dolls this Easter.  Twinkle Toes will receive the Guardian Angel Dress, Chiquita will receive Our Lady of Guadalupe and Crown, and Rose will receive Mary's White Dress with Blue Cape and White Veil and Mary's Rose Wreath.

.: Coloring Books :.

  1. Triumph of Jesus Coloring Book from Holy Heroes
  2. Easter Coloring Book from Sacred Heart Books and Gifts
  3. Fenestrae Fidei: A Coloring Companion for Catholic Mosaic
  4. Easter Eggs: Artful Eggs from Around the World Stained Glass Coloring Book or Intricate Eggs 
  5. Catholic Coloring Posters from Catholic Child
  6. Sacred Heart of Jesus Coloring Book
  7. Cathedrals: Cathedrals of the World Coloring Book or Cathedral Stained Glass Coloring Book
  8. Catholic Story Coloring Books: All these coloring books include beautiful stories by Mary Fabyan Windeatt
  9. The Holy Imitation Series: Eucharistic AdorationLife of JesusMother of GodHoly Name of JesusChoirs of Angels, and Communion of Saints

.: Art Supplies :.

  1. eeBoo sketchbook with coordinating colored pencil set  (Our girls love these eeBoo Gold Birds Metallic Pencils.)
  2. Crayon Rocks in a Cotton Muslin Bag
  3. Branch and Twig Colored Pencils
  4. Mr. Sketch Scented Stix, Watercolor Markers
  5. Yarka Semi Moist Watercolor - Set of 8Set of 10Set of 12 (I've given our children the Melissa & Doug Take-Along Waterpaint set which they love, but it doesn't last very long. Another good - and inexpensive- option is the Prang Watercolor Sets.) 
  6. Nature Journal from Michele Quigley
  7. Sidewalk Chalk
  8. Prang Paper Chalk
  9. Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils 24 Pack or 48 Pack with Pencil Sharpener (The Prismacolor Premier Colored Pencils are expensive but the first choice of our older children. I was able to purchase another set for $23.99 during the Lightning Deals before Christmas! I usually purchase the Prang Colored Pencils for our younger children.) 

.: Holy Cards and Games :.

  1. Holy Traders
  2. Church Windows
  3. Saint Memory Game (You can also make your own Saint Joseph Memory Match Playing Cards with Printables in the Archives!)
  4. Old Masters Holy Card Set (Update: These are now out of stock. Here is another beautiful option for vintage style Holy Cards.) 
  5. Personalized Holy Cards from Keepsakes by Carrie (I'm planning on ordering personalized Holy Cards for each of my children with the dates of their Baptisms and First Holy Communions to add to their Holy Card collections!) 
  6. Reverence and Awe Collector Cards from Arma Dei
  7. Catholic By The Number Card Game
  8. Little Flowers Memory Cards (recently updated!)
  9. Friendly Defenders Catholic Flash Cards and Friendly Defenders Two

.: Stationary and Stickers :.

  1. Spiritual Bouquet Cards (Printable PDF to color) from SaongJai 
  2. Sticker Seals with Vintage Holy Card Images from Luvcrystals (I also love these Easter themed animal stickers.) 
  3. Easter Gift Tags from The Fig and Thimble
  4. Dover Sticker Books including: Shiny CrossesAngels in ArtCeltic CrossesOld-Time Bunny Rabbit StickersGlitter Old-Time Easter StickersOld-Time Easter Stickers, and Old-Time Easter Animals Stickers.
  5. Note Stationary from Trademark Catholic Stationary 
  6. The Story of Easter Sticker BookSaints for Boys Sticker Book, and Saints for Girls Sticker Book (I purchased ours from at a Catholic bookstore. It looks like Catholic Free Shipping has the best prices for these online.) 
  7. Stationary Cards from Three Archangels Save 10% with coupon code Discount10
  8. Masha and Friends: 15 Matryoshka Notecard
  9. Postcards from Audrey Eclectic (While you are at Audrey Eclecic, be sure to check out the beautiful Saint Brigid and Saint Clare prints. Our oldest daughter recieved the original painting of St. Brigid and I also have the original of Saint Clare stashed in the closet to give as a birthday gift next month!)

.: Small Toys :.

  1. Green Toys Jump Rope in Green, Pink, or Purple
  2. Calico Critters 
  3. Melissa & Doug Sunny Patch Bella Butterfly Bubbles
  4. Doll Accessories from The Little Habit
  5. Metal Earth Model Sets (Note: these are challenging to assemble. My 13 year old loves them, the 14 year old not so much! Over Christmas break our 13 year old enjoyed building Notre Dame!) 
  6. Night Copter (My parents gave these to the boys for Christmas. So fun!) 
  7. Schleich Animals (lamb, peacock, rooster, chicks, etc) 
  8. Folkmanis Finger Puppets (We've collected nearly all of these sweet little finger puppets over the years.) 
  9. Kids 3-Piece Garden Tool Set 

Bonus: I almost forgot to include Play Silks! These make a great alternative to use as filler instead of plastic easter grass and will be played with for years

.: Religious Medals, Scapulars, Veils, and Rosaries :.

  1. Hand Embroidered/Sewn Scapulars and Medals from StellaMarigoldArt
  2. Brown Scapular (Our children have this simple scapular, as well as beautiful scapulars from Mary Devotions and StellaMarigoldArt.)
  3. Little Girls Light Pink Veil with Tie-Backs and Swirled Rosette Cluster from Robin Nest Lane
  4. Boys First Holy Communion One Decade Tenner from Loreto Rosaries 
  5. Pondered In Her Heart Rosary (and many other beautiful creations!) from Mary Devotions
  6. Miraculous Medal Youth Bracelet from Gail Giron Designs Save 10% on all First Communion Items with coupon code Eucharist15 which ends May 1, 2015. 
  7. Sacred Heart with Immaculate Heart Tapestry Rosary Pouch (many additional designs available including: Madonna and Child, Crucifixion, and more.) 
  8. St. Michael Sports Medals from Catholic Child
  9. Crocheted Wool Rosary Roses from The Fig and Thimble

.: Prayer Books, Sacred Music, and More :.

  1. Treasure & Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass (Read my husband's review here.) 
  2. Saints for Boys and Saints for Girls
  3. Jesus Make Me Worthy (also available from Fraternity Publishing)
  4. Rosary Flip Book with Desktop Easel (Sacred Art Series) in 4"x5" or 8"x10"
  5. Easter at Ephesus
  6. The Holy Gospels of St. Luke and St. John (Sacred Art Series) 
  7. Favorite Prayers for Catholic Children (You can find the whole Gloria Series at Sacred Heart Books & Gifts for just $3.00 per book!) 
  8. Little Catholics Set: Manners In God's House, Jesus and Mary, I Believe
  9. The Little Children's Prayer Book in Hardcover or Paperback

.: Easter Crafts, Decorations, and More :.

.: Easter Candy :.

Don't forget to include some symbolic Easter candy!
Easter Symbols :: Handcrafted Candy for Easter

.: A Basketful of Giveaways :.

There will be one winner for each of the following 20 prizes! These all make great gifts too:

Prize #1 - Deluxe Easter Blocks - 15 Piece Set sponsored by Almond Rod Toys (value $75.00)

Prize #2 - Hand Embroidered/Sewn 100% Wool Scapular sponsored by StellaMarigoldArt (winner chooses the cord/length - value $45.00)

Prize #3 - Hand Painted Sacred Heart of Jesus and Immaculate Heart of Mary sponsored by Catholic Folk Toys (value $40.00)

Prize #4 - Two Personalized Pillowcases from Prayer Pillowcases (winner chooses styles, free personalization included - value $39.90)

Prize #5 - Little Girls' Rosette Veil sponsored by Robin Nest Lane (value - $38.00)

Prize #6 - Mary's White Dress with Blue Cape and White Veil sponsored by The Little Habit (doll and shoes not included - value $35.00) Receive FREE SHIPPING from The Little Habit until March 15th with coupon code ROSESFREESHIP.

Prize #7 - Immaculate Heart of Mary Print and Set of Three Our Lady of the Angels Greeting Cards sponsored by Three Archangels (value $30) - For a Limited Time Save 10% with coupon code Discount10

Prize # 8 -  The Little Children's Prayer Book sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $29.95)

Prize #9 - Infinity Veil sponsored by Robin Nest Lane  (winner can choose favorite color - white, black, brown, cream, natural (linen colored), gold, silver, cranberry red, and blush pink - value - $27.50)

Prize #10 - Your Choice of one Notebook sponsored by Mama's Notebooks (value up to $24.99) Notebooks are 10% off at present. One of the following coupon codes below can be used in addition to the sale: Buy three books and get one of equal or lesser value with coupon code TRGE15 or save 5% with coupon code FAST5

Prize #11 - Treasure and Tradition: The Ultimate Guide to the Latin Mass sponsored by St. Augustine Academy Press (value $24.95)

Prize #12 - Spring Holy Week Ornaments sponsored by Jesse Tree Treasures (value $22.95)

Prize #13 - St. Philomena Youth Bracelet sponsored by Gail Giron Designs (value $22.00) Save 10% on all First Communion Items with coupon code Eucharist15 which ends May 1, 2015. 

Prize #14 - Set of Five Gloria Series Books (includes: The Mass, Favorite Children's Prayers, The Rosary, The Hail Mary, and The Holy Family) sponsored by Sacred Heart Books and Gifts (value $15.00)

Prizes #15, #16 and #17 - Easter at Ephesus CD sponsored by De Montfort Music (3 winners - value $14.59 each)

Prize #18 - St. Michael Sports Medal and your choice of 3 Magnetic Bookmarks sponsored by Catholic Child (value $14.45)

Prize #19 - One Sheet of Personalized Holy Cards (winner's choice) sponsored by Keepsakes by Carrie (value $10.75)

Prize #20 - Variety Set of Post Cards sponsored by Audrey Eclectic Folk Art (value $10.00)

Please enter the giveaway using the Rafflecopter box below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Winners were announced in this post and contacted by email on the Solemnity Feast of St. Joseph, March 19, 2015.

From the Archives: 

{this moment}

Stacks of Books on Christmas Morning

I realized, while putting together this year's Baskets of Books for Easter, that I never did share the list of books our children received for Christmas. Since I already had this post almost completed in my drafts folder, I decided to finish it up and share it with you all now. Hmmm… I also need to finish the post with the rest of the boys' books/bookshelves… and many others!

Anyway, in 2013 I was inspired by Charlotte to give each of our children a "Stack of Books" as one of their Christmas gifts. Our children loved the stacks of books (at least most of them!) and we ended up giving them more this last Christmas! Here are the books they unwrapped: 

.: Captain - Age 14 :.

.: Ranger - Age 13 :. 
(he was still 12 when he received these for Christmas)

.: Twinkle Toes - Age 11 :. 

.: Chiquita - Age 9 :.

.: Snuggles - Age 7 :. 

Ambrose and the Cathedral Dream is currently listed at a great discount! 

.: Rose - Age 5 :. 

.: Bud - Age 3 :.